There’s a lot that goes into starting an Instagram business (which you know). Perhaps one of the least-looked-forward-to elements of establishing a presence online is competitor analysis.
We cringe at the words.
Although it’s arduous, we know how valuable it is. But many times, we associate competitor analysis with expensive-to-use tools or outsource the work to a marketing company. While many useful tools can help you take a deeper dive into competitor metrics, there are some easy ways you can identify your Insta comps for free.
Even if you don’t have a business profile on Facebook, you can use the platform to find competitors. Firstly, identify keywords that are relevant to your Instagram business. Then, type those keywords into the Facebook search bar and filter your search by business.
If you have a Facebook business profile, you can use the business insights tool to see what competitors the platform has identified for you. However, it’s important not to blindly accept these businesses as your competitors until you have vetted them yourself.
Once you find competitors on Facebook, check to make sure they have an Instagram business.
You can use the Instagram search feature to find potential competitors directly within the platform. Similar to a keyword search on Facebook, you first want to identify your relevant hashtags. You can then filter your search by hashtag and look through the posters who have recently used that hashtag to see if they are qualified competitors.
How to Determine If an Instagram Business Is a Qualified Competitor
When it comes to vetting competitors, there are a few factors to consider. Once you find a potential competitor’s profile, you should go directly to their website – if their profile does not have a link to their site, they are likely not as competitive as they seem (no website URL = no sales from the Gram).
So now that you’re on their site, pay attention to how it is set up. Does it load quickly? Are the images high quality? Is the image-to-text ratio even and user-friendly? Do you get a good sense of what their services are?
If the answer to those questions is yes, look at their products and services to see if their offerings are similar to yours. Note the product descriptions – how descriptive they are and how many words – product images, and pricing. If their images are clear, descriptions are thorough, and pricing is comparable to yours, these are good indicators that they are qualified competition.
Next, look at the location they serve and compare it to yours. Are you both serving the same areas, local and/or national? If so, add them to your competitor list.
You can also look at their Instagram followers. They don’t necessarily have to have more than you to be a competitor. As we all know, followers fluctuate. What matters is engagement.
Follow Their Lead
Analyzing your competition gives you a secret look at how you can improve your business. You can see how often they are posting and what kind of engagement they get. From this, you can determine two things:
1. What kind of content garners the most engagement in this space?
2. What the best times are to post?
You can also use their website to your advantage by noting their site architecture and user-friendliness and comparing those elements to your site to see if there is room for improvement.
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